February 9, 2015 by Liberty
I was watching a documentary the other day. There was a segment about men in Africa that made their living scamming people online. These men were shown driving around their primitive looking urban environments in clean brand new convertibles. They were wearing fine watches and dressing in a particularly high level of awesome. If you saw one of these guys walking down the street in any city in the world, not even the most inculturally sensitive old person would get a chill down their spine.
These men played the part of successful well. Hell, compared to most of the environment the documentary showed around them, they were living amazing. (Of course, that could just as easily be the filmmakers attempt to show these scammers as way more rich than their neighbors.)
The typical scam the documentary discussed is one of the most interesting parts of this story. These scammers would go online and pretend that they were white, American, females. Now, their capability and willingness to complete such a scam says quite a lot of negative things about these men but honestly, I think that alone says way worse things for the men falling for it.
The Attraction Distraction
This is not an unknown fact to science. Hell, it’s been pretty well verified for all of history. When a man is sexually attracted to a women, his brain switches gears. Any thoughts that could potentially screw up his chances of getting laid are put on the back burner. This is completely biological but these men are carrying that sexual attraction from pictures the scammer posted all the way over to the text they’re communicating with.
People putting up fake pictures is not unusual. By now, virtually everyone has heard of a scam in this department. In most situations, this can be dealt with using a few simple requests from the person they’re talking to. That being said, these men don’t protect themselves from it.
People have a biological need for companionship. While most people have the comfort of someone intimately close, or at least the chance for it. Some people don’t. That’s one of the most interesting things about this scam.
This is not a one time deal. Many of the scammers can repeatedly shear their victims by staying in communication. The people they target are so desperate for love that they’re willing to take the risk that they’re being scammed. They continue to give money though. Eventually, these men have invested so much in these scammers that it would be a feat of a psychological superman just to stop getting scammed (and by result, admit they’re being scammed.)
The only thing that makes this possible is the biological attraction. The men carry their physical attraction to a picture and place those same emotions on a person communicating with them.
Now let’s go back to imagining these men walking down the street in any major city again. What do we notice about these men? You’d probably notice that they’re well dressed. You’d probably notice that they’re well groomed. That would probably lead to you making some assumptions about these men.
When you see a well dressed and groomed man walking by, you probably think this guy isn’t a low life criminal. If you were asked what this man did for a living you’d probably guess a doctor, or a lawyer, or a businessman.
Studies have also shown people are more likely to attach positive characteristics to a well-dressed and groomed person. That means you’d think he was more honest than average, you’d think he was smarter than average, you’d think he was more helpful than average.
Of course, no one could be blamed for thinking this way. It’s completely biological.
Here is where is get’s interesting.
If you were to see a lawyer or a doctor or a businessman, there is a very real chance you’d see them outside of their nice work attire. Doctors don’t have to dress up to feed their own ego. Many lawyers would hate having to wear their suits when it’s not absolutely necessary. Today, many business people don’t wear suits… ever.
The scammer, on the other hand, dresses up daily.
Businessmen don’t need to wear a suit daily. They have a job that they can go home and talk about with their friends. They don’t need to hide the fact that their is something unethical going on. The same goes for doctors. (Some might say it goes for lawyers too but lawyers do wear suits a lot. Make of that what you will.)
The scammer doesn’t have that option. The scammer may be highly successful by most standards, he’s always going to have to prove that success with exterior polish because no one likes what’s going on in the inside.
This brings out the fundamentally problem with aesthetics. Aesthetics is a shortcut. Someone looking really good often makes us think that they’re really good. Really bad people know this. That’s why they would post pictures of attractive young girls. That’s why they wear they dress up in the nicest of clothing. They’re counting on you using the shortcut.
If you were to meet this man at a party, he could appear to be a wonderful person to get to know. That is, unless someone introduces him with a career description, “yea, he pretends to be a girl to scam lonely men.” It doesn’t matter how big that man’s smile is then, you’re going to probably avoid him.
Naturally, it goes in the other direction too. If he were dressed like a slob but someone introduced him as a doctor, you’d suddenly be more intrigued.
The real punchline to the situation is that these scammers are not just scamming for their living. They’re completely living a scam. They don’t just shut down their computer to take a break. They end up having to shut down their computer to continue their scam in real life.
They continue this scam through real life because they suffer from the same needs of the people they’re scamming. People hate scammers. People hate liars. They need companionship so badly that they are willing to hide behind a superficial facade they call themselves; failing to understand that even a doctor looks like a slob on Sunday morning.
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